It’s easy to get sucked into the online world, especially lately. So much is happening in the media; not to mention, we’ve been encouraged to stay home and stay healthy. But, we cannot forget to balance our online activity with time in the real world and time to ourselves—healthy intervals spent in reflection and meditation. Here are a few ways we can practice balance in a technologically-driven world.
See and talk to real people
First of all, remember that those 500 Facebook friends you have are not real friends. OK, some of them are, but the rest are probably just acquaintances or old college roommates. Make sure you are pouring into those real, fleshy friends that you can meet up with face-to-face or FaceTime-to-FaceTime. If you are feeling lonely, chances are you’re not getting enough human interaction, so instead of opening Facebook, try calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or make a coffee date to catch up.
Detox from social media
It’s nice to keep track of what your friends and family a couple states away are up to, but sometimes social media just becomes overwhelming and even toxic. If you feel your mental health tripping up or notice yourself in constant comparison of others, that might be a nod to take a step back from social media. Take a week off, two weeks, heck, a whole month. You might find out that you don’t need it as much as you think. You may even notice an uptick in your creativity. Take a break and see what kind of fruits it will bear.
Limit screen time
You don’t have to take months off of social media; maybe you just need fewer hours on social media per day. If you have the self-control to limit that time on your own, good for you. But for the rest of us mere mortals, there’s the Screen Time tab in the Settings of your smartphone. Click on the tab to be able to set time limitations for whichever apps you feel like you need less of.
Incorporate apps that promote mindfulness
Not only can you limit certain apps, but it’s important to choose your apps wisely. Download apps like Headspace and Calm, which will promote mindfulness instead of a busy brain flooded with constant stimulants. Also, choose apps that will help you grow and learn. If you’ve been wanting to learn a second language, give DuoLingo a go. If you need more time off the couch, download a workout app like Beachbody, which has hundreds of different workout programs available at the tap of a finger.
Ultimately, remember that even if you are an introvert, we’re still relational creatures. Make sure you are checking in mentally and assessing your own mental health. Also, check in with your friends and family members. It’s important to take time to power down the devices and plug into our relationships.